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Beijing claims UK has lost independence on Huawei 5G issue, warns of retaliation over tech firm’s ban

Beijing claims UK has lost independence on Huawei 5G issue, warns of retaliation over tech firm’s ban
China has lashed out at Britain’s decision to exclude Huawei from developing the country’s 5G network, suggesting the move was self-defeating and would negatively affect Sino-British economic cooperation.

Phasing out Huawei technology from the UK’s fifth-generation wireless network reveals a lack of independence, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday, adding that the United Kingdom should act more in line with its own interests.

The heated remarks mirrored a denunciation issued by China’s Ministry of Commerce, which railed against Britain’s “discriminatory” ban on Huawei products. A spokesman for the ministry warned that measures would be taken to defend Chinese firms' legal rights in the UK, accusing the British government of violating World Trade Organization rules. Beijing also made it clear that trade relations between the two nations would suffer. 

Downing Street announced earlier this week that British telecoms companies will be banned from buying Huawei 5G equipment starting from the end of this year. The firms also must weed out all Huawei components from the country’s 5G network by 2027.

Also on rt.com ‘We all know Trump, don't we?’: UK health secretary brushes off claims that White House 'convinced' London to ban Huawei 5G kits

US President Donald Trump hailed the UK’s move and even seemingly took credit for the decision, boasting that he personally had “convinced many countries” not to do business with the Chinese firm. Health Secretary Matt Hancock later dismissed the US leader’s assertion, stressing that the British government relied only on “technical advice” from its own experts.

The United States blacklisted Huawei last year after claiming that the company has ties to Chinese security services and is used by Beijing to carry out surveillance and espionage. For months, Washington has lobbied its European allies to distance themselves from Huawei.

Both Huawei and Beijing have denied the accusations, and have countered with allegations that Washington is trying to prevent competition in 5G and other technologies. 

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